|La Liga 2014-15|
| Deportivo La Coruña
||vs|| FC Barcelona
ScheduleSunday, 18 January 2015 at 17:00 GMT / 17:00 UK / 22:30 IST
VenueRiazor (La Coruña)
Next Sunday, 18th of January 2015, Luis Enrique’s rejuvenated Barcelona will travel to Galicia to measure forces with Deportivo La Coruña at the emblematic Riazor for round 19 of the Spanish Liga BBVA, on a match where Barça cannot allow any more slip ups if they don’t want to let Real Madrid escape at the top of the table once again.
After a solid and deserved win over Atlético Madrid last Sunday’s night, Barcelona continued their recent quality streak by hammering Elche at Martínez Valero by 4-0 on the second leg of the Copa del Rey ⅛ finals. The Catalan side had already snatched an easy 5-0 win at Camp Nou and the away match was no different. Luis Enrique took the opportunity to offer more playing time to several young players such as Traore, El Haddadi, Gumbau, Rafinha and Sergi Roberto, and the young gems from the team’s cantera had no major difficulties to overcome a very fragile Elche side.
After the painful defeat at Anoeta against Real Sociedad two weeks ago and all the fuss that was created surrounding Messi’s relationship with Luis Enrique, the Asturian manager still managed to rally his troops and Barça seem to have returned to their good moments. The win against Atlético last weekend was of special significance for the team, since it provided the players the necessary motivation to overcome the sour defeat at the Basque Country.
The upcoming match at Riazor should not be of major difficulty for Barça, regardless of their opponents’ recent improvements. For that particular clash, Luis Enrique will still not be able to rely on the contribution of Vermaelen, who remains sidelined due to injury, and there still some doubts regarding the physical condition from both Neymar and Xavi.
As for Deportivo, after a complicated season start they seem to be trying to recover the lost time, as they have presented several improvements during their latest matches. After an important home win over Athletic two weeks ago, Depor snatched a vital draw at Levante last weekend and managed to obtain seven points from their last four league matches. Their experienced manager, Victor Fernandez, is doing a quality job with the players he has at his disposal and, if they continue to improve, they might be able to secure a place in the Spanish football top tier next season.
Despite their recent improvements, Depor might not still have what is necessary to overcome a strong and organized team such as Barcelona and due to that one has to appoint the Catalan side as firm favourites for the upcoming clash.
Deportivo La Coruña
Stats: W-2 L-2 D-1
Recent Form - DWLLW
Stats: W-4 L-1 D-0
Recent Form - WWWLW
Deportivo La Coruña (4-3-3) - Fabri - Juanfran - Lopo - Insua - Luisinho - Bergantinos - Rodriguez - Medunjanin - Dominguez - Cavaleiro - Toche
Barcelona (4-3-3) - Bravo - Alves - Mascherano - Piqué - Jordi Alba - Busquets - Rakitic - Iniesta - Neymar - Suárez - Messi